female fade

It’s Solas from Bioware’s video game, “Dragon Age: Inquisition,” for this month’s Fan Art Fifteenth. With the “Trespasser” DLC releasing earlier this month, I couldn’t resist doing a painting of my most recent Inquisitor’s romance interest.

Created in Photoshop CS5 on a Surface Pro 2. Process video will be posted shortly!


Fleurir by Brodie Taberner

All caught up!

I stopped reading DC pretty much two years ago at chapter 920 because I was so fed up with a lot of things: the writing and utilization of female characters, especially how major female characters faded away as male characters take over the main plot, how they are kept in the dark even as they are directly involved, the shallow treatment of female relationships in comparison to the male ones, the occasional fanservice; the idolization of childhood crushes, how every single character is shoehorned into a romance, and how the individual characterization suffered as a result; Conan’s alarming omnipotence and the complete absence of criticism; people constantly talking past each other in fandom based on false assumptions.

I didn’t know back then whether that’d mean that I’d be quitting DC for good or not, which scared me because I had been following the series for so long and had invested so much money and time in it… But I knew it wasn’t good to keep reading if all of the frustration overrode - on a weekly basis! - any lingering affection I still had, so I cut myself off from it.

In the meantime, starting from about half a year ago, I got into merch collecting. While I was keeping away from the manga, I’d rage every now and then at all the new DC merch coming out, which is all pretty much presenting Conan/Shinichi, Akai, Amuro, KID and sometimes Heiji as the faces of the series. I know that those are popular characters for good reasons and that smart marketing is to produce whatever’s currently a hot topic, especially when it comes to a series that has been running for this long, but it didn’t help with my bitterness regarding the neglect of female characters within the series. In my opinion, Ran and Ai in particular deserve merch before any of the above (with the exception of the titular character) get any, especially when said merch is bundled or part of a line-up. :| (I’m talking about the recent scale figures and the planned Nendoroids, but also some sticker/strap sets I’ve seen.)

About 1-2 days ago, I ranted about DC merch again (a set of straps), and a good friend was wondering on Twitter whether anything of note has happened in the series in the past year. I guess someone I know talking about it in some way and expressing frustration was the push I needed to catch up again! I’m all caught up now, and reading the 73 (à 16 pages) chapters didn’t take anywhere as long as I thought it would.

Some rambling under the cut, both positive and negative. No explicit story spoilers.

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YA lit meme: kick-ass female characters

Ruby Elizabeth Daly, The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

“You’re going to get more kids out, right?” she asked. “Not just us?”
“Everyone,” I reassured her, leaning my head back against the seat and closing my eyes. It was the only way I knew of to keep from crying. It was more than just a possibility. We had done this. We could do it again at Thurmond. We could make this moment everyone’s reality. Every single kid.

Three different people requested this prompt over the past months (although slightly different versions) so I decided to write it. 

So to sum it up; you wanted a High school AU where Cas and Dean are best friends who turn into something more, but Dean is too scared to come out to his family. However, Mary and John catch them in the act when they’re making out on the couch, which is how they find out. Seeing as all three of you wanted John to not be a dick about it, here you go. ;) 

Dean grinned up at the beautiful blue-eyed boy that was straddling his lap; he was fucking lucky and he knew it. Cas was hungrily licking his pretty pink lips as he looked right back at Dean through hooded eyelids.

Hell yeah, this was the reason couches were actually invented.

For many years, this couch had been the place where Dean and Cas watched movies. Or where they did their school related reading. Or where they played videogames. But lately, that had changed…

Whenever no nosy parents or little brothers were around, Dean and Castiel very much preferred to take part in other activities on that couch.

Castiel went in for a kiss, his lips attacking Dean’s with a passion. Their mouths wildly moved together like they were both starving for it, and Cas’ fingers knotted themselves into Dean’s hair, while Dean’s hands held on to Cas’ hips.

“Hmm, Dean.” Cas was moaning against Dean’s mouth, and Dean smiled into the kiss, then broke free to cover the skin of Cas’ throat in many sloppy kisses.

Oh, how Dean loved this. They’d only been ‘dating’ for two months, and at first Dean had been hesitant. He’d known that what he felt for Castiel was real, but he’d never before considered dating someone who wasn’t, well, female.

His doubts had faded quickly though. After that first time when Cas had kissed him, soft and sweet. After the first time he’d felt how good it was to touch Cas, and Cas touching him in return.

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Dean Winchster:Stay with me

Requested by: @clairese1980
Summary:Reader gets hurt and the boys find her in the motel room,not breathing.

„Daddy,push me on a swing!“
„Mommy,mommy,look it’s a butterfly!“
My whole childhood flashed in front of my eyes as I gasped for air.
„Leave the bitch.“-female voice faded in the distance.
Blood,blood was everywhere.There’s nothing left but this cold walls and death.
„I want her to die slowly.“-female voice came closer this time
My eyes were closed,the pain was too strong.
I opened them for a second,seeing a woman with red eyes;demon.
My eyes closed again,I was ready to die.Everything was soaked in blood,the whole motel room.
Maybe it’s time to sleep,to finally rest…
After some time,Dean parked his Impala,in front of the motel.
The boys opened the door,seeing Y/N on the floor,not breathing.
„Y/N…Stay with me.
Dean took his flannel shirt and placed it on my stomach,where the wound was.
„Who did this to you?!“-Dean yelled
„Dean…I hate to say this,but I think she’s dead,gone.“-Sam said placing his hand on Dean’s shoulder
Tears started to dance around Dean’s cheeks.
He laid next to my dead body and help my cold hand.
„Castiel,If you can hear me…Please,come here.Please,heal her!“
Moment after,there was a sound of wings in the room.
„Dean,you called.“-Cas said with his deep,roughly voice.
„Can you do anything?“
„Step aside.“
Cas squatted down next to my cold body and placed his fingers on my forehead.
„It’s possible…“-Cas said
„Thank God.“-Dean said,rubbing his face with his bloody hands
„This could take a while.“-Cas said
After an hour,Dean got mad.
„Cas,c'mon.You are a fricking angel.“
„I’m sorry Dean,she was supposed to wake up 30 minutes ago…“-Castiel said closing my eyes.
„No,don’t do this to me,Cas.“
Dean’s eyes,yet again,became filled with tears.
„Good night,my warrior.“-Dean said
„Dean,let’s get her in the Impala,so we can bury her.
I opened my eyes,gasping for air,screaming in pain.
,,Cas!Cas!“-Dean yelled
,,I can’t do anything,my mojo is drained.“
,,Hospital!Get her to hospital!
I saw in the back seat of the Impala with Dean.
„If you're…If…If you’re here,who’s driving the Impala?“
I said,coughing blood.
„Sam’s driving.“-he said.
He held my hand and stroke your face.
I can’t believe Dean let Sam drive Impala,so he could be with you.
„I’m sorry…“
„Sorry for what?“-Dean asked.
,,For blood,on the seats and…“
I took a stop from talking,because I was sure,I’m gonna choke on my own blood.
„Lift her up a little bit,her mouth is filled with blood.“-Sam said
Suddenly the white light came closer to my eyes,as I closed them.
„No,Y/N stay with me,please!“
The next thing I know,I was in a hospital.
„She’s waking up!“
„Hey,hey,I’m here,don’t worry.“
„You’re gonna be fine,just fine.You’ve been sleeping for 2 days,it’s time to go home.
The bunker was worn and quiet.
Dean carried you to the bed and made sure you’re comfortable.
„You don’t have to do this,Cas healed me,I’ll be fine.“
„I know,I know,but I wanna make sure you’re comfortable.“
He sat next to you on the bed.
I wrapped my hands around his neck and kissed him.
„I’m sorry.I don’t know why I just did that.“-I looked down
Before I could finish what I was saying,he kissed back.
„Well,you did it.Now,I’m comfortable.“-I smiled.

what madeleine albright gets wrong about intersectionality

Let’s assume, for argument’s sake, that Madeleine Albright is correct: there really is a special place in hell for women who don’t support other women. The former Secretary of State dredged up her famous canard this weekend while stumping for Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire, to the acclaim of the candidate herself. I’ll be honest: barring my resentment for anyone who threatens me with hell, I think she’s actually got a point. In lifting yourself out of gendered oppression, you’ve got to do your damnedest not to leave others behind. If you are committed to breaking down barriers for women, that ought to mean all women, not just those with whom you personally align. I applaud the sentiment - which is why I think Albright is wrong in her unchecked support of Hillary Clinton.

My biggest qualm with the feminist movement, the reason I do not wear the label myself, is the insistence both implicit and explicit that gender is the most salient part of a woman. Intersectional feminism gets us partway toward remedying that, but not, in my opinion, far enough. As a working-class woman diagnosed with multiple mental illnesses, I have far less in common with Mrs. Clinton than I do with mentally ill working-class men. I am a real flesh-and-blood woman, exactly the demographic Albright chides for failing to support her girl, and seeing myself “represented” is the least of my concerns. If Albright wants to talk a big game about supporting other women, she would do well to investigate what those “other women” out there in the world actually need.

Albright claims that “[Clinton] has been really fighting on … behalf of issues that are of interest to women[.]” To her credit, Clinton’s record of championing gendered issues, particularly reproductive rights, is extensive and commendable. I believe she deserves Planned Parenthood’s endorsement. That said, Albright must acknowledge that “issues that are of interest to women” are far more than those that fall along gendered lines. All issues are of interest to women, because women are human beings. We’re half the population. I’m grateful that Clinton has fought for my reproductive rights, but at the end of the day, I need affordable psychiatric medication as much as or more than I need birth control.

Elderly women need access to Social Security income. Women, especially minority women, who have served time for nonviolent drug offenses need a restructuring of the criminal justice system. To brush aside these women’s priorities, their divergence from Clinton’s own, as “not supporting other women” is white feminism at its finest. It fells young women that their most relevant identity is that of womanhood, that other intersecting and perhaps overriding factors can never hold the same importance.

Moreover, I’m troubled that this election cycle’s gender equality conversation has focused mainly on fairness to one specific woman, Hillary Clinton, rather than fairness to the millions of American women her policies might affect. Clinton is wealthy and white, rounding the apex of a distinguished political career. The sexism she’s experienced on the campaign trail is not insignificant, but at the end of the day, I’m not too worried about her. If she loses this election, she will survive. She is not living paycheck to paycheck. She is among the top 1% of American women, and I’m confident that her life will continue in the same fruitful vein. I’m more concerned about the silent majority of struggling women and men, for whom “fairness” isn’t just symbolic: it can make or break their whole lives.

Maybe failing to elect Hillary Clinton is an affront to some abstract notion of sisterhood, but failing to do right by millions of vulnerable Americans is an even more tangible injustice.

I’m not saying, necessarily, that a hypothetical President Hillary Clinton wouldn’t do right by our country. Truth be told, I think she’d do a pretty decent job, though I’m still a Sanders girl. But I can’t abide the way her supporters use feminist politics to gloss over the specifics of what that doing-right might entail.

“People are talking about revolution,” Albright said Saturday, taking not-so-subtle aim at the common Sanders talking point. “What kind of a revolution would it be to have the first woman president of the United States?” Not the kind in which I’m eager to participate, frankly. I’m hardly saying that representation isn’t important for disadvantaged groups, but it’s not the same as tangibly bettering their lives. To equate them, as Albright did, is to forget that most women do not have the luxury of a vanity vote. If we vote for a superficial revolution rather than its literal equivalent, we’ll be left in the same old lurch after the novelty of female empowerment has faded.

Seeing a marginalized gender ascend the ranks is thrilling. I get it. It’s particularly so for Albright’s generation; Albright herself was born in 1937, less than two decades after American women won the right to vote. I understand the desire, after fighting so hard for so long, to see a woman finally make it to the very top. I don’t doubt that Albright and Clinton are sincere in their attempts to better women’s lives. I think, though, that both former Madams Secretary could use a crash course in 2016 womanhood. Fact is, we can’t afford to be single-issue voters. We - or at least I - cannot in good conscience prioritize representation over policy. If I vote for Hillary Clinton, and I most likely will should she win the Democratic nod, it will be because I believe she can do the greatest good for the greatest number. Not because our shared identities unite us, and certainly not because I feel I owe her anything.

Standing up for women means respecting what divides us as much as what unites us. Respecting our disparate goals and our autonomy in pursuing them. As for my own? I’ll take a tangible victory over a symbolic one any day of the week.